By Ian Jones @IDJONESPHOTOG
I guess you could say I have a First World problem. I’ve needed new jeans for a while. I wear custom jeans specifically made for wheelchair users, and I’ve got a limited income, so I’ve needed to buy them a pair at a time..
Even though the United Nations says the disabled are the world’s largest minority, adapted clothing is a niche market. It’s something that you might not have even thought of. But you know, in a society that generally frowns on public nudity, clothing options for the disabled are a big thing.
Some people don’t have dexterity in their fingers to manage things like zippers or buttons. Magnetic closures exist for those people.
I know people who have to opt for the “hook and eye” style clasp because of arm strength issues. For me, it’s more or less a comfort thing.
Then again, when I made the switch, I was thrilled to find that I no longer tended to “moon” people sitting behind me. Not unless they deserve it.
Adapted jeans are higher in back and lower in front so there isn’t any constriction in uh, certain areas. There are a few companies that specialize in adapted clothing, and until last year I was buying from USA Jeans, a company in Oklahoma.
They had a pretty good product, even though their jeans lacked pockets, and they were a friendly group (I got to know the owner fairly well.) But I sometimes had to wait three or four weeks before getting my order in the mail. It was frustrating.
Thanks to a tip from a friend, I found Endless Abilities, headquartered here in the Bay Area. Now I rarely wait two weeks, and I have functional pockets in my jeans.
Endless Abilities have a range of colors and styles. I’m not out of luck on formalwear, either. If I ever need a suit, I know they can make the slacks.
I know I’ve seen adapted sports coats online, but I’ve never bought one because of the price. I’ve decided to buy a “regular” sport coat and take it to a tailor for alteration if I need a suit.
IZ Adaptive also offers a range of clothing options for men and women, from adapted shirts and tops to jeans, skirts and, yes, even leggings. Their prices don’t look too bad, either: the men’s jeans go for $89, which is about the same price as Endless Ability.
Having clothing options is a great thing for anyone, but adapted clothing is awesome.